An Open Letter to My Dad on His 66th Birthday

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Hi Kouk--

We got a new couch. A big, over-stuffed custom couch for this huge room we didn't exactly know how to furnish. It had to be custom because it had to fit around our enormous coffee table off of which I'm sure you would have enjoyed many a bowl of ice cream. It would have been cool to sit with you on it and watch movies on Raz's gigantic TV. I told him he was going to have to watch all my Bravo and MTV shows on it in life size, but he bought it anyway. I win. 

Mom, Raz and I are going to hang out with you in Waterville and eat ice cream together this weekend. It's Mother's Day, too, so we have lots to celebrate. I've got you covered on a card for her. All good. I always thought it was cute that Grandma told us you and Uncle Don were her favorite Mother's Day gifts. How could you not be when you were this cute?

I see you, you know. When you're a hawk following my little rental car along the Pacific Coast Highway. When you're a fantastic sun ray in the middle of Minnesota. When you make mom hang out with me more than she ever did before. I see you. Thank you for that. Thank you for making our lives as awesome as they can be even though you're not still walking me to my car and hugging me goodbye. I know you're doing the best you can from up there, and I want you to know I see it. I do. You're doing a really good job, too. I'm very proud to say you make yourself so visible. Not every kid gets that. 

And whether people believe or don't believe in that stuff doesn't matter. I didn't know if I believed it. I do now. 

So, thank you for being born. Thank you for living, for creating me, and for putting up with me when I almost failed my driver's test on your birthday and for cheering me across that stage at the University of Idaho when I graduated on your birthday. I guess because you had Uncle Don and a bunch of other sibs, you're better at sharing that kind of stuff. I'm working on it.

Happy 66th birthday, Kouk! I hope you're living it up up there. I hope you're having lots and lots of ice cream and chocolate. I hope you're reading Western novels and shooting guns and bow hunting and boating and driving motorcycles safely (or recklessly, whatever) around country highways and brushing horses and building things and playing with as many of our animals as you want and doing all the things that make you feel ALIVE today. I hope you get to do that stuff every day. I expect you to.

Whatever miracles you want to throw at me this year, I'll take them, and I'll be watching. 

I love you. 

You live,

Photo: Alyssa Wilcox

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